for the most part my bux has some really great customers. of course, we get our share of caffeine addicts that believe our only mission in life to serve them in a manner suited for ramses the great. no matter how accommodating we baristas try to be, these customers are dead set on being annoyed by everything we do (and do correctly, i might add).
i've been in my green apron long enough to know that these people are just outright jerks and nothing i do will make them happy. the poor newbies, however, who are blindsided by these vicious customers are usually rendered useless for a few minutes and have to compose themselves in the backroom until they are 'strong' enough to continue making drinks and ringing customers. it really is trial by fire, and unfortunately we can't always tell which customers will be the pains and which will be the angels.
in the past week we've had a couple gems to deal with. and yes, the poor newbies did take the brunt of the abuse, but at least there was some sweet justice that followed:
- on a busy friday morning one of our newbies was having a very difficult time with a picky customer. this customer wanted a "perfect pastry" from the case and made the newbie offer each pastry up for inspection.
"that one is too small!" she'd complain. "that one isn't square enough!", "that one doesn't look flavorful enough!". i swear, i thought she was auditioning for the role of friggen' goldilocks. finally when she 'settled' for a less than perfect pastry, she repeated an equally annoying process when ordering her drink. not only did she give newbie very specific instructions to write on the cup, but she micromanaged every single letter he wrote and demanded to inspect the cup after he'd marked it.
"what the hell is this?!?" she asked, upset that newbie wrote "3=" in the custom box instead of "3 equals" and made him rewrite the whole damn order on a new cup.
while waiting for her drink, she accused newbie of giving her the wrong pastry, and demanded deafeningly he change it for a better one. by the time her drink was ready, newbie was on the verge of a breakdown. after arguing with another person at the condiment bar, picky customer finally left our bux. upon exiting the store, she tripped over her own feet and dropped her perfectly marked drink as she tried to catch the pastry she'd flung through the air. the pastry landed in a puddle of water, and her drink spilled all over the sidewalk.
"FUCK IT!" she screamed and got in her car and drove away.
- my bux parking lot is very cramped and busy. now, i'm not a road rage sort of person, but i do expect other people to obey traffic rules. even though i had the right of way, a bitch in a white bmw decided the red octagon with the white letters that spelled out "STOP" was not intended for her. she gunned her motor and pulled directly in front of me, cutting me off and gesticulating wildly the whole time. i could only laugh because of how ridiculously she was behaving.
as she waited to pull into a spot directly in front of my store i managed to squeeze my car past hers, park in a vacant spot only ten feet away, and enter my store before she'd had a chance to complete her parking job.
because of her actions in the parking lot i was not surprised to see her stomp into my bux, huff about the loooong line (seriously, there were only two people ahead of her), and then demand her drink be made quickly because she was in such a hurry. now, i could have been a horrid barista and made her a disgusting drink, but i decided it would be much more poetic if i had a newbie make her drink instead - since i was sure it would take newbie twice as long. of course, the bitch with the bmw was quite vocal about having to wait, and i just smiled sweetly and explained that we had a new partner training on the bar. then bitch with the bmw got a call on her cell phone and went outside for ten minutes, while her drink sat on the hand-off counter.
when she came back into the store, she complained that the drink was too cool and wanted it made again because she comes in "all the time!" (and no - none of us baristas had ever seen her before). so of course i let newbie make her drink for the second time. surprise, surprise, bitch in the bmw wasn't happy with drink #2 either. so it was made a third time (still not by me, of course) and she still wasn't happy with it, but since we'd "wasted so much of her time" she took it anyway and angrily drove off.
awww, sweet schadenfreude!
partner rant: ok. i understand that part of my job requires me to 'talk up' new beverages and products we sell. and i know another part of my job requires me to participate in store meetings where we learn and discuss these new products. but when we baristas (rightfully) voice our concerns and doubts about our new fruit blended drinks, we should not be berated, nor blamed for the past failures of the bigwigs in seattle. telling us the reason breakfast sandwiches and chantico drinks went bust was because we baristas were not "solidly behind the product" is a bunch of bull. no matter how much we may try to convince our customers to try something new (or even lie to them and tell them how much we love it) will NOT ensure that customers will go ga-ga over a mcmuffin ripoff or a small cup of melted chocolate. in fact, give us baristas credit for the fact we all successfully predicted how terribly those new products would be received instead of using us as the scapegoat for how poorly our company is doing at present.